The following policies are listed below: Borrowing Rules, General Regulations & Rules of Conduct, Public Computer Policy, & Reference Policy


Borrowing Rules

CIRCULATION– Orange County Public Law Library (“The Library”) circulates from its collection certain books and materials for use within Orange County in accordance with the following rules adopted by the Board of Trustees. An individual’s signature on the required application form indicates his or her agreement to abide by these Borrowing Rules.


a. Individual Registered Borrower: Any member of the California State Bar who:

1. Resides in or practices in Orange County;

2. Files an application in person at the Library; and

3. Deposits $100 with the Library.

An Individual Registered Borrower may:

4. Authorize in writing a messenger or messenger service to borrow Library materials. The Individual Registered Borrower is financially responsible for all Library materials borrowed by him/her and by any authorized messenger or messenger service.

5. Borrow up to 5 books or other Library materials.

b. Judicial Borrower: any active or retired judge, except for judges pro tem, and any commissioner, judicial arbitrator, or administrative law judge of any court in Orange County.

A Judicial Borrower may:

1. Authorize in writing on letterhead stationery any subordinates, messenger, or messenger service to borrow Library materials;

2. Direct a bailiff to borrow Library materials without written authorization;

3. Borrow a reasonable number of materials.

c. Official Borrower: Any U.S. or California official having an Orange County office; or any Orange County public office-holder, or any subordinate of these officials who does work of a legal nature in performance of his or her official duties.

1. A department head must authorize each subordinate in writing on letterhead stationery to borrow Library materials.

2. An official Borrower is financially responsible for all Library materials checked out to him or her or to any authorized persons.

d. Resident Borrower: any resident of Orange County who:

1. Shows proof of Orange County residency;

2. Files a proper application in person;

3. Deposits $100.00 with the Library; and

4. Pays $50.00 annual dues/fees.

5. If under age 18, parent/legal guardian must be present at time of application and sign acknowledgment of financial responsibility.

A Resident Borrower may:

6. Authorize in writing a messenger or messenger service to borrow Library materials. The Resident Borrower is financially responsible for all Library materials borrowed by him/her and by any authorized messenger or messenger service.

7. Borrow up to 5 books or other Library materials.

e. Non-Resident Attorney Borrower: any member of the California State Bar who:

1. Files an application in person at the Library;

2. Deposits $200.00 with the Library and;

3. Pays $50.00 annual dues/fees.

A Non-Resident Attorney Borrower may:

4. Authorize in writing a messenger service to borrow Library materials. The Non-Resident Attorney Borrower is financially responsible for all Library materials borrowed by him/her and by any authorized messenger or messenger service.

5. Borrow up to 5 books or other Library materials


The Library shall issue a non-transferable Library card to each borrower. Each borrower must present his or her Library card in order to borrow Library materials. The Library shall charge a reasonable replacement fee to the borrower for each lost or damaged Library card. The replacement fee is stated in the Fines and Replacement Charges Schedule.


Library books and materials circulate for 21 days unless designated as non-circulating.


a. No renewals are permitted.

b. Borrowers returning Library materials may not check out the same copy of a Library item until the next day.


a. A borrower may reserve an item currently in circulation by requesting that a hold be placed on it.

b. The Library will make a reasonable effort to notify the patron when the item has been returned.

c. The Library will hold the item for 2 days from date of notification.

d. If unable to contact the patron, the Library reserves the right to place the item into general circulation.


a. All materials circulate except for Reference books, loose-leaf services, statutes, digests, and citators.

b. Any materials which normally circulate may be withdrawn from circulation at the discretion of the Library Director. These materials include, but are not limited to, items which are not readily replaceable, or which are fragile or out of print.

c. For the purpose of the limit on number of items borrowed, an audiotape set, or videotape set, is counted as 1 item; but fines accrue separately on each piece of the set. From February through November, a borrower may check out a maximum of 4 tape sets. During December and January each year, a borrower may have only 2 tape sets checked out.

d. All materials loaned are for the personal use of each borrower. Violations may result in revocation of borrowing privileges.

e. All loaned materials may be returned to the library book drop located in the parking lot on the west side of the library building.


a. The amount of fines, categories of materials upon which fines are assessed, and replacement and processing charges are set forth in the Fines and Replacement Charges Schedule.

b. If the overdue period exceeds 30 days, the book or material shall be deemed lost. A book or material substantially damaged or defaced shall be deemed lost, unless it may be suitably repaired. All borrowers shall be charged for the replacement costs of the book or material lost, any applicable repair costs, plus a processing charge, all set forth in the Fines and Replacement Charges Schedule.

c. Payment of fines and charges does not transfer ownership of any Library materials to the borrower.

d. Willful retention of Library materials 30 days after notice is given by the Library is a misdemeanor (Cal. Ed. Code §19911).

e. Annual dues/fees are due January 1. Borrowers will be billed in advance for the new borrowing year. New Borrowers registering after July 1 will have their borrowing fees reduced by 50% for the current borrowing year.


a. Fines and charges are assessed against the borrower financially responsible for payment. Fines and charges are not subtracted from a borrower’s deposit unless the borrower’s privileges have been terminated by the Library or canceled by the borrower.

b. When fines equal or exceed $15.00, the borrower shall be notified in writing that borrowing privileges are suspended.

c. A suspended borrower may regain borrowing privileges by paying outstanding fines and charges.

d. A collection agency may be employed to settle delinquent accounts.

e. All borrowers will receive an annual statement of account showing any fines and charges due.


a. Borrowing privileges cease when a borrower no longer qualifies under Rule 1 above.

b. Any borrower who flagrantly or persistently violates these Rules shall have his or her borrowing privileges suspended or terminated by the Law Library Board of Trustees.

c. If a borrower’s privileges are suspended, the person shall not qualify as another borrower type until revocation of the suspension.

d. A person having suspended borrowing privileges due to fines or replacement charges owed may request return of his or her deposit, less any fines or charges due, for a period of one year from the date of suspension. If not claimed within that time, the deposit shall become the property of the Orange County Public Law Library.


a. All borrower’s deposits are placed in the Law Library deposit fund account and may be used by the Library as a revolving expense fund. No interest shall accrue to the borrower on these deposits.

b. Each deposit shall be returned to the borrower by check, less any fines and charges due, upon his or her written request at least 3 months from the date of the deposit.

c. Borrowing privileges cease upon receipt of a written request for refund of deposit.

d. Allow 30 days for the Library to process each refund request.


a. Service charge for each dishonored check written for establishing a borrower’s account, or payment of Library fines and charges, is $25.00 for the first check and $35.00 for each subsequent check passed on insufficient funds by the same payor.

b. Failure to pay the amount of the check in cash within 30 days of a written demand subjects the check writer to treble damages [Cal. Civ. Code §1719].

NOTE: Wherever authorization in writing is required, it must be submitted on the letterhead of the person accepting financial responsibility for Library materials. The book drop is emptied Monday – Friday at 8:00 a.m. and on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. Books deposited in the book drop later are deemed not returned until the next business day. Positive identification is required. (Bar card is required for Registered Borrower identification; driver’s license for Resident Borrowers.)


AS AMENDED: 1/27/2010

General Regulations & Rules of Conduct

The Law Library is intended for use by persons engaged in law-related research. Persons not engaged in reading, studying or using library materials shall be required to take their belongings and leave the building. Anyone whose conduct poses a threat to the safety and healthy working environment of Library patrons or staff shall be removed and excluded from the Library. All patrons shall be aware of California Penal Code Section 602.1(b), which provides as follows:

“Any person who intentionally interferes with any lawful business carried on by the employees of a public agency open to the public, by obstructing or intimidating those attempting to carry on business, or those persons there to transact business with the public agency, and who refuses to leave the premises of the public agency after being requested to leave by the office manager or a supervisor of the public agency, or by a peace officer acting at the request of the office manager or a supervisor of the public agency, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for up to 90 days, or by a fine of up to four hundred dollars ($400), or by both that imprisonment and fine.”


All persons who enter the Library shall:

• Comply with all established procedures, regulations and rules of conduct. Failure to comply may result in removal and suspension from the Library.

• Enter and exit through the 3rd Floor security gate, except in an emergency. Any person who attempts to leave through another exit, in the absence of a threat to public safety, is subject to a reasonable search by a Library employee. If the security alarm sounds when a person attempts to exit through the gate, s/he must return to the Public Services Desk so that Library employees can ensure that all materials in the person’s possession were properly handled during check-out.

• Keep their personal belongings with them at all times.

• Keep within areas open to the public: Floors A, 3, 4 and 5.

• Make every effort to maintain a quiet atmosphere, and use cellular telephones only in a manner not disturbing to other persons.

• Obey all laws while they are in the building and on the premises.

• Supervise and monitor the behavior of an accompanying child under the age of 12. The Library is not responsible for children left unattended in the Library. If a child’s behavior disturbs Library users or staff, or results in damage to Library property, Library staff may seek the removal of the adult and child from the Library. The parent or guardian of any minor who willfully causes damage to or destroys Library property may be liable for all damages caused by the minor.

• Only designated electrical outlets may be used to charge devices, and only devices reasonably used for legal research (laptops, tablets or cell phones) may be charged at those designated outlets. One device per plug is allowed; the use of power strips/surge protectors/extension cords is not allowed.

• Wear shirts/tops, pants/skirts/shorts, and shoes/other footwear.

All persons who enter the Library must not:

• Attempt to make repairs to Library equipment; please report malfunctions to staff.

• Bathe or wash clothing in the restrooms.

• Block or obstruct aisles or public areas.

• Bring animals into Library with the exception of Guide dogs, Signal dogs or Service animals authorized by law. If such animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it, or if the animal is not housebroken, Library staff will require the animal to be taken out of the Library. The person may return to the Library to use Library services without having the animal on Library premises. (28 CFR Section 35.136)

• Bring food or uncovered containers of any liquid into the Library.

• Bring large objects (such as grocery carts, bicycles, luggage or parcels that collectively exceed 26” x 19” x9”) into the Library. Standard size laptop cases, file boxes, briefcases, and collapsible luggage carriers are permitted.

• Have bodily odor or hygiene that is offensive so as to constitute a nuisance to other persons.

• Interfere with or obstruct Library employees in the performance of their duties, or threaten or attempt to intimidate Library employees. (Cal. Penal Code §602.1(b))

• Interfere with use of the Library by other persons, harass or annoy others through noisy or boisterous activities, or behave in a manner which reasonably can be expected to disturb other persons. (Cal. Penal Code §602.1(b))

• Leave personal property unattended. The Library is not responsible for personal items that are lost, stolen or damaged in or on the grounds of the Library. Personal property that Library staff determines is repeatedly and/or intentionally abandoned or left unattended will be removed without any prior notice.

• Lock or in any way affix their personal belongings to furniture, equipment or facilities. Law enforcement may be called when Library staff is notified that any personal property is attached to furniture, equipment or facilities.

• Place objects (e.g., heavy briefcases) likely to damage furniture upon any Library furniture or equipment.

• Possess any weapon or destructive device inside the Library unless excepted by statute.

• Rearrange Library furniture.

• Sleep.

• Smoke any type of product, including vaporizers and e-cigarettes.

• Use power strips/surge protectors/extension cords in electrical outlets.

• Write in, make any mark upon, or deface Library books or other Library property. Any person who intentionally causes damage to or destroys Library books or any other Library materials commits a misdemeanor under California law and is liable for all damages. (Cal. Education Code §19910-11.)

These General Regulations and Rules of Conduct shall be interpreted and applied by the Director of the Law Library in a manner that is reasonable and in compliance with all applicable laws.


Rules of Conduct Violations


The Director of the Law Library, or the Director’s designee, shall have the authority to order the removal of any person from the Library for any violation of these general regulations and rules of conduct. The person removed pursuant to this order shall not enter the building, premises, or grounds of the Library the remainder of the business day or the period of time as may be specified by the Director or the Director’s designee in writing. Failure of a person to leave and stay out of the building during this period may result in legal action pursuant to California Penal Code §602.1(b).


The Director and the Director’s designee shall have the authority to suspend a person’s privileges to use the Library for such period of time as s/he determines to be appropriate for violation of any of these general regulations and rules of conduct. Any suspension shall be in writing. A suspension of five days or less shall be final. Any person who re-enters the building during the term of his/her suspension shall be considered a trespasser. Failure of a person to leave and stay out of the building during this period may result in legal action pursuant to California Penal Code §602.1(b).


Any person who has been suspended from the Library for a period of six or more days for failure to comply with the provisions of these general regulations and rules of conduct may file an appeal with the Board of Trustees. Such appeal shall be in writing and shall be submitted within 15 days of the date of the order of suspension and shall contain a brief description of the reasons for the appeal and why the suspension should be modified or overturned. The Library Board shall designate a person to serve as hearing officer and to hear the appeal.


Such hearing officer can be a member of the Board or such other person as the Board determines is qualified to hear the appeal. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing as soon as practicable to ensure a timely resolution of the appeal. The decision of the hearing officer shall be reported to the Board of Trustees, the Director, and the person appealing the decision. The decision of the hearing officer shall be final.


Adopted by Board of Trustees, August 15, 2017.

Public Internet Access Policy

The primary mission of the Orange County Public Law Library is to provide access to legal “reference materials and research services on state, federal and international statutes, case law and supporting materials”. As a selective State and Federal Depository the Library is also required to provide access to chosen government documents.

• Computer and wireless network (Wi-Fi) use is public and users should not have privacy expectations.

• The Orange County Public Law Library is not responsible for any damages, losses, or invasions of privacy related to use of its public computers or Wi-Fi.

• Access to public computers and Wi-Fi is provided solely for the purpose of legal research or to obtain government document information.

• Access to non-legal databases is allowed in order to obtain information that might be used as evidence in court or at other legal proceedings.

• Playing games or accessing chatrooms, etc. is not allowed.

• The Library reserves the right to impose time limits on the use of the public computers and/or Wi-Fi.

• The Library staff may provide limited one-on-one instruction on the use of the Library’s subscription databases not to exceed 10 minutes.

• Accessing e-mail is allowed only to send the results of legal research.

• The Internet is not a secure medium. Email is not necessarily secure against interception.

• The Law Library employs antivirus software, but it cannot guarantee that its website, server, or any other website accessed via the Internet is free of viruses or other harmful components.

• Public computers and/or Wi-Fi shall not be used for any illegal purpose.

• Users of the public computers and Wi-Fi are not permitted to bypass any security feature that is installed on the computers/Wi-Fi.

• The computer equipment shall not be used in such a manner as to compromise the security of the Library network, as determined by Library staff.

• Users of the public computers and/or Wi-Fi are not permitted to harm the computers or systems through the installation of viruses or other malicious acts.

• Users of the public computers are not permitted to install or copy software to the computers.

• Only patrons using a wheelchair may use the station designated for wheelchair accessibility.

• Misuse of Internet access or of computer equipment shall result in loss of computer privileges.

Approved on 5-17-16

Reference Policy

Reference librarians and staff are located at the Public Services desk. The reference staff is available to help patrons define research questions and to make reference to pertinent library materials.


It is against Library policy for the reference staff to give legal advice or to do anything which might constitute the unauthorized practice of law.


The staff is unable to interpret statutes, cases, or regulations, or advise patrons regarding their legal rights. They may not recommend which legal forms a person should use or assist persons in filling out legal forms. The staff will, however, help laymen with legal terminology and the meaning of legal citations and fulfill their primary function, which is to help patrons find the materials they need so that patrons may do their own research. Within these limits, the staff will provide assistance wherever possible to meet the reference needs of patrons, whether laymen or attorneys, but patrons should not expect the library staff to do research.